Archive for the tag - honor your body

Exercise to Build Body Confidence.

I'd like to get more than my car serviced at this car wash...

If you exercise and eat right, it’s no secret that you’ll transform your body. You’ll be stronger, fitter and healthier – and it will certainly boost your confidence. But I think the reverse is true, too.

Hear me out.

Let’s pretend you get a new car. It’s your pride and your joy. Because you really enjoy this car, and because it’s something you value, you take care of it. You wash it regularly, clean it – and maybe even apply a few layers of wax. You change the oil and have it serviced regularly. You might even fill your car with premium fuel. Because it’s something that you appreciate, you invest time and energy into it.

I think the same is true for our bodies: As I learn to value and appreciate my body, it’s easier for me to make decisions that honor it. Because I value my body, I want to treat it right.

I’m grateful for my body and the functions it performs. As such, I want to keep it in prime condition. Fueling my body with candy or fried foods becomes less appealing; my body deserves so much more. And because our bodies crave to move and to stretch and to play, going to the gym is a wonderful way to honor it.

Yes, exercise and nutrition can make us feel better about our bodies. But feeling better about our bodies can also inspire us to exercise and eat right. In other words, it’s an incredible and empowering feedback loop that you can put to good use.

11 Ways to Honor Your Body.

How will you honor your body today?

This world is full of amazing experiences, things to do, mountains to climb, people to meet and delicious foods to eat. But of all the things to do on this planet, just about all of them require the use of your body. Since we only get one body, it makes sense to be nice to it. If you’re abusive, hateful or unkind to your body, it will hinder your journey – or perhaps even worse.

It’s cliché to say that our bodies are temples. Most clichés are clichés because they contain a truth so powerful that it’s been spoken again and again (until we forget what it means). Your body is a temple of flesh and bones in which a great spirit dwells; no other space is more sacred.

Through your actions, words and thoughts, honor your body. Here are 11 ideas for doing just that:

  1. Give your body gifts. Schedule time with a masseuse or give yourself a massage with some lotion or oils. Don’t be stingy. Indulge. And feel love and gratitude instead of guilt.
  2. Do a check-in. While our bodies are our constant companion, we often neglect this special relationship. Take a few minutes to scan through your body, starting with your toes and ending at the tip of your head. Using your mind, tune into each section of your body – one at a time – and experience the sensations with awareness.
  3. Nourish your body with healthy foods. Don’t defile the temple that is your body with toxic food choices. Consume the foods that your body craves – such lean meats, fruits, water, nuts, berries and vegetables. Honor your body through each meal choice you make.
  4. Write an apology to your body. We don’t always honor our bodies with the things we do, say and think – but your body is willing to forgive. Write an apology to your body and then release any shame or guilt.
  5. Refocus your energy. Imagine if you used all the energy and effort that you expend criticizing your body’s appearance into something more productive? Free up this energy and use it to move your life forward rather than to hold you back.
  6. Express gratitude. Right now, write down 10 things that your body is doing for you. Express gratitude for the blessing that is your body.
  7. Move! There are more than 600 muscles in the human body; it is made to move! Honor your body with exercise. Walk in the park, jog with a friend, take a hike, download a yoga DVD or join a gym.
  8. Shift negative self-talk. Negativity begets more negativity, and it often expresses itself in unhealthy behavior; thoughts become actions – and these actions shape our lives. When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk (i.e., “I look fat today…”), simply become aware of the commentary and then shift it. Focus, instead, on something else – such as an inspiring quote or mantra. Breathe energy into what you want, rather than what you don’t.
  9. Build supportive relationships. Make the conscious choice to surround yourself with people that support you, your efforts and your body. If people in your criticize your body or the way you look, redefine that friendship or relationship.
  10. Morning thanks. When you wake up, thank your body for all that it does and all that it will do. This positive energy will infuse your day with vitality.
  11. Evening thanks. When you go to bed, thank your body for all that it does and has done. Let this positive energy carry your body to sleep as it revitalizes and rejuvenates for another day.

How will you honor your body today? Let me know in the comments below.